Have You Ever Felt You Were In The Right Place, At The Right Time?
April 21, 2007 5:17pm CST
By this I mean, have you ever had something unexpected happen, while you were going about your normal routine, that changed your day completely? Have you felt that 'possibly' a tragedy could've been avoided because you came along? A number of years ago now, on Labour Day weekend, when my daughter was much younger, and just learning to ride a bike, I took her over to her school to practice. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny, day, and there weren't a lot of people around outside etc., as likely, many were still away for the long weekend. We went around to the back of the school, so she could practice on the grassy field, and the playground there, and were there for around 45 minutes, or so. I thought I heard voices coming from around the side of the building, plus it was time to be heading home. As my daughter and I headed around the corner, there in our path was a middle-aged man (who looked to me like a drifter), and he was talking to a young girl of around 13 years, or so. She'd been riding her bike, and had gotten off, when summoned by this man to do so. I'm not usually this bold (at all), but I found myself saying "Is there a problem here?" They both looked at us in surprise, and the girl told me that the man had asked her to go to the store for him, and bring him back something to eat and drink. He'd offered her money to do this, and had given her extra cash to come back with food etc. for herself as well. He wanted her to eat with him, she said. I had a REALLY bad feeling about this, and said to the girl, "Would your mom want you doing something like this?" She looked upset, got on her bike, and rode out of the parking lot, to go home I assumed. I then said to my daughter, let's go, and we hastened home, as I couldn't shake the bad feeling. The man just stared at us as we left. When we got home, I called the police station (not 911, because it wasn't a dire emergency), and told the desk officer about this. He was very grateful, for my call, and asked a great deal of questions re: descriptions, etc. He then told me they'd send a cruiser around to the school, and asked me to phone them, if I ever saw this man again. Please share any situations that you've come across, that have given you a 'bad feeling,' and that could've 'possibly' had a very different (maybe even tragic), outcome, if it wasn't for your intervention. Thanks for any and all responses.
23 Apr 07
A friend of my husband's was performing in Ottawa one week-end just before Christmas but I could not get it off work and so could not go with him! I told him not to miss it for me and so he took our son with him and left me home here to work on the Saturday. They spent Saturday night there and so I woke up on the Sunday alone and thought of going to church but then decided I would take advantage of not having my special needs son to care for and I would do some much needed laundry for us that day instead! We do not have a washing machine and so I walk down the street to a laundry mat. I have to cross a bridge over a railroad track to get there. I had put the laundry in the machines to wash and thought I would go back home to wash the dishes and come back to put them in the dryer so I did this as it is only about a five minute walk. As I was walking back to the laundromat to put the clothing in the dryer an unexpected happened... I was approaching the bridge and saw this man walking towards me carrying his shoes...As I approached him I could see that he was not going to move for me so I could see no cars were comming and stepped off the sidewalk onto the street to walk by him. As I walked past him he looked right at me and said "Life would be so much easier if I just jumped off this bridge" I replied,"Oh no,please sir, don't do that!" As I walked on I had an aweful feeling and continuously was looking back towards him and the bridge. When I got to where I had to cross the street I looked and saw that he was climbing up on to the bottom rail of the bridge...I ran to the laundromat and urgently asked for the attendant to call 911 but he gave the phone to me and so I called and explained the whole situation. The operator wanted me to keep an eye on the guy until the police came so I ran back to the corner and watched him from there urgently praying for the police to arrive quickly! I was however relieved to see him sitting on the sidewalk at the top of the bridge when I got to the corner. It seemed like forever and the man stood up and turned and leaned on the railing all while I was waiting on police. I did not know what I was going to do if I witnessed him jumping! The police did come and I walked up towards the bridge to let the police know I was the one that had called. They asked did I know the man and I said no,I just wanted him not to jump and get the help he needed. If I had went to Ottawa or to church that day...If I hadn't went home while the laundry was washing...I would not have been there for that man when he needed me! I had never called 911 before and I hope I never have to again...but I hate to think what may have happened if I hadn't been there at the right time to do so!
23 Apr 07
I don't believe in coincidence when it comes to this type of situation. Some would call it fate, others divine intervention etc., but I'd never just pass it off as an 'accident.' There were a lot of things in play that day, as you've mentioned. The fact that you weren't able to go away with your husband, and son, that you decided to do laundry, and didn't go to church, and also that you went back home, instead of staying at the laundromat. I'm sure the man wasn't expecting to encounter you there, and because of his apparent mental state, it appeared as though he'd made this tragic decision to jump off the bridge. I trust he got the professional help he needed. You must have a great feeling everytime you remember that day.
24 Apr 07
It is a very memorable day to be sure and I am thankful that I was there at the right time for that man. It certainly is a blessing from God! The police officer told me they were taking the man to the hospital to talk to a doctor...I pray for him often...That he has found a peace and happiness in his life.